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Hollywood dreams come true for former Sandy teacher

A new film starring Robin Williams begins production next month, and a former Sandy resident wrote the screenplay.

Doug Soesbe was only 25 in 1973 when he lived in an apartment in downtown Sandy and taught theater at the high school. He and his students made a movie called “Night of the Teenage Werewolf,” a parody of the 1950s classic “I was a Teenage Werewolf.” The film won a prize at the Portland Art Museum film festival in 1976, the same year Soesbe was finishing a master of fine arts degree at Portland State University. His graduate degree had an emphasis in playwriting.

Next, Soesbe decided to go to Hollywood and take a shot at breaking into the movie business.

And it worked.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Screenwriter Doug Soesbe“The teaching job was great, but I just knew that if I never gave it a shot that it would be something I would regret,” Soesbe said in a phone interview from his office at NBC Universal, where he works as a script analyst.

In fact, his first Hollywood gig was at the same studio. He says he walked in one day in 1976, took a typing test and got hired as a floating secretary in the script department.

“The funny thing is that in Hollywood, regardless of your degree, if you have a real skill you can get a job,” he said. “I could type very well, so that got me in. I was there when (Alfred) Hitchcock was there.”



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